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6/12/2007

Potential for xenophobic tension

Today, the current population ratio is about 1 foreigner to 1 citizen. When the 6 million figure is reached, it is likely that there will be 2 foreigners to every citizen. To some who have little contacts with foreigners, it is acceptable, healthy, and good for the economy and even suggestions that without foreigners we will be doomed. For those who have to face the foreigners daily in all his living activities, when every citizen has to fight for his space and the air he breathes, tension is likely to build up and break out. At the moment if one commutes by public transport, there is likely to be more than 1 foreigner, maybe 2 to every citizen. For not all citizens take public transport but all foreign workers and students do. The ratio in public facilities will see more foreigners than citizens. And when the time comes, when 6 million came, there will likely be 8 foreigners to every 2 citizens in the train and buses. And it is conceivable that all the younger, burly, dirty and smelly foreign workers will be seating and the minority citizens will be standing and being squeezed beyond their comfort zone. The current state of affairs in the mrt is that the foreigners are rushing and competing for every seat they can get in the train. There is no differentiation or consideration that these healthy young workers could take the punishing journey standing. They would rather sit. Imagine the day when the crowded trains have all the foreigners seating and all the citizens, a minority, having to stand in their midst. You can bet an outcry to come from the citizens complaining about losing their space and air to foreigners. But for those who commute by the comfort of their private limousines, these are minor irritations that the peasants and workers must bear. It is good for the country.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Citigrp reported concerns abt the sustainability of our poplulation growth particularly with regards to the property squeeze that is pricing out the locals but i think they should not conclude that the subsequent political stress may lead to more restrictive immigration policy becos there is no stress in singapore as much as i know.